Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Commitment - or lack of...

I tell you the most "bodoh" thing about Malaysian managers, regardless of industry, that starts in
school is this oft-misunderstood concept of "commitment". Long and short, it really really rails me when people, especially your boss or team leader, throws it around like some sort of business mantra.

Yesterday I was sitting down with [name censored to protect the innocent] and just chatting about his / her [gender censored to protect the innocent] recent review with his / her boss. He / She scored top marks in all categories - he / she was efficient, quick to complete tasks assigned, consistent in delivering quality work and overall a great worker.

So, just as he / she was about to chalk it up as a great appraisal, the boss suddenly stops to say: "There's just one thing we're concerned about..."


"Well, you've not been staying back much since we hired you. You know, like putting in the extra hours. Not much commitment from you... If you want to get promoted to [position censored to protect the innocent] we would like to see you stay back more often."

Now, this is when he / she has been staying back whenever required. Coming in to work on public holidays. Working on two Saturdays a month. The list goes on.

"Why do you say I lack commitment?"

"Well, colleague A stays back later than you and ..."

And comparisons are a good benchmark of a person's quality and commitment? I don't get it. So in this frame of understanding, people who stay back late and come in every weekend are the best workers in the office? Couldn't they just be slow, or worse, sucker-uppers who've bought in to the whole culture of first in-last out "meritocracy"?

I think on the overall managers need to understand the concept of a good worker better. Or even the concept of work. You hire a person to do a specific job laid down in the contract. That person does that job - it is a job well done. You don't expect more and you certainly don't penalise people for not doing more than what's written on their job scope.

If people have done more, thank them for it, don't compare with someone else perceived as doing even more and tell them they aren't doing enough.

And what's this about "commitment"? Commitment is about doing for your company what you said you'd do for it in your contract. Commitment is being responsible enough to deliver on what you're being paid for on time, in good quality. Commitment is finding efficient ways to do things so it's delivered faster.

Commitment IS NOT staying back late or coming in on weekends unnecessarily just to "show" the boss you're "committed."

Please people, if you're a boss, get a hold on what commitment is.

PS. let me clarify I'm not snarking my office - I love Text 100 just the way it is. FYI, I go home generally when I have done my work for the day, and by PR standards, is Pretty Early. (Oh, say, 7 - 7:30 pm?) :)


SlowCatchUpKuan said...

good post. i can't agree more. at my previous work place, everyone competes staying back everyday eventhough there's no work to be done at all. dead funny. i used to just grab my bags and go home. i mean it's so stupid ler...

nicole said...

well done you! stupid boss that one... hey, I lost my mobile last week and all my numbers. can you please text me on my SG no, so i can have yours? I got a Nokia 6500!!! Yippee!!! I hate that Sony Ericsson I lost. "Dumb" phone, totally not intuitive.

davidlian said...

Kuan: Thanks for the comment. Yeah, bad bosses really rail me.

Nic: I sent you an email with my mobile. Nearly posted on my site. Then I realised it probably wasn't a good idea.

Siew said...

If I were the person I'd ask point blank, "So even if I have finished the tasks at hand you would prefer that I stay on and do some menial things, and waste company resources?" I definitely won't be staying very long in that company. And just before I leave I would praise the boss for his examplary leadership qualities and excellent work ethics....not

davidlian said...

Siew: Agreed - my point exactly.